I’m finding odd piles of sawdust around my Brooklyn property. Why is that?
If it is a pest problem then you probably have either termites or carpenter ants. Termites and carpenter ants both produce frass, which can often be confused with sawdust, but there is a difference. The trick is to look closely at the “sawdust”. Termites actually produce tiny pellets which are usually beige or brown (but the color is in relation to the wood they eat). This will look like piles of sand but from far could look like sawdust as the pellets are roughly the size of ground pepper. Carpenter ants produce frass which looks like sawdust. Carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites; instead they chew it and remove it from their den to create their homes.
No. Poisoning is not recommended as a way to get rid of rodents. This is because the poison will take some time to kill the rodent and it will most likely die where it hides. Thus, poisoning leads to dead rodents in the walls and under the floors. These bodies will decompose and need to be removed, which will only be possible by ripping open the floor and walls.
What are some natural ways I can keep pests away?
There are many different ways to reduce a bug issue.
Ladybugs - if you have a garden and are worried about aphids (pests that eat your plants) then get some ladybugs. These little beauties can eat about 50 to 60 aphids a day!
Plants that repel mosquitoes - Lemon balm, marigolds, catnip, basil, lavender and citronella grass are all plants that mosquitoes do not like to be around.
Remove standing water - mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. Go around your property to make sure that you don’t have old containers that have filled with rain water. If you own a bird bath make sure to change the water every second day or so.
Work from the outside in - Bugs don't just appear from nowhere. Bug proof your home beginning with the outside so they can't get into the walls or corners to begin with. Check windows, doors, pipes, shingles and any possible routes indoors. Don't leave a crack unfilled.
How do I know if there are bed bugs in my apartment?
Bed bugs leave a number of warning signs when they set up camp in our homes. Check for some of these bed bug red flags to get proactive about your pest control:
Dark red or brown spots on your bedding or clothes - You may be crushing bugs in your sleep, which will leave small stains from their blood.
Bites on your skin - This may be the most obvious sign, though bites are often written off as coming from other types of bugs. Pay attention to the size, shape, and patterns of your bites. If they appear all in a row, you may want to check for bed bugs.
Shed skins - Baby bed bugs shed their skin as they grow into adulthood. Look for exoskeletons around your apartment.
Eggshells - If you find small eggshells in your furniture or bedding, you may have multiple generations of bugs. Contact an exterminator as soon as possible to arrange for an inspection.
Hopefully these bed bug tips will help you stay proactive about keeping pests out of your home!
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